Protect Our Defenders educates the public and policymakers on the crisis of sexual violence in the military. Despite more than 25 years of Pentagon studies, task force recommendations and congressional hearings, rates of rape, sexual assault and harassment within the military remain unacceptably high. Survivors of sexual violence in the military must receive justice and appropriate medical support. And, their perpetrators must be held accountable for their crimes.
According to the Department of Defense, 19,000 service members were raped or sexually assaulted in 2010. Only 13.5 percent of these incidents were reported. The Pentagon’s 2011 annual report shows a 58.5 percent increase in reported sexual assaults at service academies. The current system of reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care is broken.
Survivors of rape and sexual assault encounter numerous obstacles in acquiring immediate and long-term care. They are often disbelieved, silenced, denied health care and discharged involuntarily. Again and again, survivors tell us that terms such as “personality disorder, bipolar disorder or conduct unbecoming” are imposed as false reasons for their discharge.
To address these problems, Protect Our Defenders engages policymakers on issues affecting service members and veterans who are victims of military sexual violence.
We urge concerned Americans to to join our community, to create a unified voice in support of legislation to fundamentally change the way the Department of Defense deals with the injustices facing service members and veterans who have suffered military sexual trauma. Sign Our Petition.